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Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 5)

October 24th, 2010

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Book Overview:

The ruthless and brilliant brother Vishous possesses a destructive curse and a frightening ability to see the future. As a member of the Brotherhood, he has no interest in love or emotion, only the battle with the Lessening Society. But when a mortal injury puts him in the care of a human surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb compels him to reveal his inner pain and taste true pleasure for the first time-until a destiny he didn't choose takes him into a future that does not include her...

Book Review

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out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12796 user reviews
Science Fiction The ruthless and brilliant brother Vishous possesses a destructive curse and a frightening ability to see the future. As a member of the Brotherhood, he has no interest in love or emotion, only the battle with the Lessening Society. But when a mortal injury puts him in the care of a human surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb compels him to reveal his inner pain and taste true pleasure for the first time-until a destiny he didn't choose takes him into a future that does not include her...

Similar Books:

  1. Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 1)
  2. Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 3)
  3. Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 2)
  4. Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 4)
  5. Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 6)
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  1. T. D. Bell
    October 25th, 2010 at 08:33 | #1


    All in all I am disappointed. Not what I was so very much looking forward to. (I know! I ended that sentence with a preposition. Sorry.) Vishous has always been that one character whose inner workings (thoughts and feelings) were unknowable. I expected his story to be filled with dramatic tension. There was none. The V of the story did not live up to the V of former books or even that of his own past. When I read that he kidnapped a human doctor, I just knew there would ranting and raving on her part and implacable resolve on his. There would be his attempts to reconcile his usually emotionless self with the new emotions bonding would throw on him. Nope. Didn’t happen.

    There wasn’t even any romance in the story. They fell in love and committed to each other in what 24 hours? The biggest love affair in this story was between Vishous and his mother (and I don’t mean anything sexual by that statement), or maybe it was the romance between Phury and his conscience, but it sure as heck wasn’t the one between V and Jane.

    There should have been hundreds of pages of romantic and sexual tension, and there’s nothing but slack. The best parts of the book were the dialogue betweenn Butch and V, and V and Jane, and the parts about John Matthew.

    Speaking of Butch. Man, there was so much Ward could have done there. V’s feelings for Butch combined with his feelings for Jane would have been HOT (still not talking sex, people)!!! His feelings for Butch drying up like a up-rooted dandelion just because he bonded to Jane? Disappointing.

    Did I mention I found this book disappointing? But, as I said, well written. It just isn’t much of a romance. Its just another addition to the Black Dagger Brotherhood series in which Vishous falls in love. And the ending? Talk about jumping the shark!!!!!

  2. SSG
    October 26th, 2010 at 21:43 | #2


    A distressing misstep in Ward’s otherwise addictive and enthralling series.

    What’s wrong? Three main problems:

    1. The main love story is rushed and unconvincing. Vishous, the Brother with the most fear of trusting others (after Zsadist), falls in love the fastest of all — and begins to think “mine” after hearing only a few words from the heroine. Truly unbelievable. The Vishous in this book barely resembles the one of previous installments.

    2. The cosmology goes entirely off the rails, with a rethinking of the major deity in the Brothers’ world. The only problem: This new Scribe Virgin is so inconsistent, so egocentric and so unreliable that it is hard to imagine any group of thinking beings being devoted to her. And it is hard to imagine admiring and wanting to know more about beings who would want to worship HER.

    3. The picture we see of the Chosen — the daughters of Brothers and the servants of the Scribe Virgin — is so misogynistic and so claustrophobic that it is impossible to imagine it coexisting with the Brothers’ culture, in which their females are revered, protected and exalted. The two sides cannot have come out of the same values — which suggests incoherent and ad hoc world-building on Ward’s part.

    The flaws in world-building and the character contradictions with Ward’s earlier books make me very worried for the coming books. Ward needs to step back, rethink the consequences of all her inventions and make sure that the next book is consistent with itself and the world she’s built.

  3. Laurie L. Buss
    October 28th, 2010 at 08:04 | #3


    I love this series,I really love it.I was looking foreward to this book for so long. I am soo disappointed in the path the story took in the end!Are you kidding me?I felt almost betrayed at the end by the author.The disappointment after such a great build up.

    I am not sure I want to read anymore from the series.

  4. R. Crowe
    October 28th, 2010 at 10:51 | #4


    The good: I was really interested in V. and the back story did offer surprises.

    The bad: The thing I just could not get past was Dr. Whitcomb’s “voice”. She didn’t sound right when I read her. Her wording had none of the elegance or breeding that the author took pains to make sure we knew about.

    The ugly: I understand that mystical magnetism brings them together but their first intimacy just rang so false that their whole romance was an uphill battle from there.

    This was by far the worst of the five I have read.

    If I had it to do over I would not have bought this book.

  5. Alyce In Wonderland
    October 29th, 2010 at 02:02 | #5


    Black Dagger Brotherhood Series:

    Dark Lover

    Lover Eternal

    Lover Awakened

    Lover Revealed

    Lover Unbound

    Lover Enshrined

    ****Order them all together. You won’t want to wait in between books. The story never slows down. Excellent series!****

    Although I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the rest of the series so far, J.R. Ward’s writing is still the best of the paranormal romance rage. At over 500 pages, “Lover Unbound” keeps your interest with only a few slow spots. Her original characters are still maintaining their personalities and their relationships to the ongoing plot. Her new characters are likable and good additions to the tale. Ward continues the story with plenty of action, emotion, and romance.

    My disappointment was in the fact that Vishous’s character lost some of his attachment to Butch, came across as a bit deranged, and didn’t get to really “have” his woman in the end. (Without spoiling the ending for readers, they are together in the end but not in a way that left me feeling complete.) This Brother, who aches for physical affection and touch, is left without the warmth he thrives upon.

    The Story:

    Vishous (“V”) is drowning in loneliness and depression. He is deeply attached to his best friend, Butch. Butch now has a female mate, so Vishous is feeling utterly isolated and deserted. As an outlet for his emotions, he goes hunting lessers. As he finishes off one enemy, another shoots him in the chest. A human sees the fight and calls 911. V is picked up by an ambulance and taken to a human hospital. When his brothers realize what has happened, they go to rescue him before the sun rises and causes his death.

    V wakes feeling an undeniable possessiveness towards his female surgeon. She has opened his body and literally touched his heart while saving his life. When his brothers arrive to take him home, V insists that they bring the surgeon along.

    Dr. Jane awakens in a strange room, finding her surgery patient sleeping on a bed. She is instantly protective of her patient, thinking the brothers may cause him to die from lack of medical care. When she realizes V is not human, she tries to find a way to escape. V promises to let her go as soon as he is well, using his injuries as an excuse to keep her as long as possible. When V is almost well, his brother Phury becomes gravely injured. Even though V is willing to keep his promise to free her, Jane surprises him by refusing to leave until she brings Phury back to health as well. Her commitment to life and her compassion for the wounded reaches beyond the species barrior. V is falling helplessly in love with this woman of incredible intelligence and unselfishness. He even finds his jealousy over Butch fading.

    The Scribe Virgin has plans for V’s future. She also has shocking news about his past. V’s own hopes for the future are unimportant to her. She puts the weight of responsibility for the future of the Brotherhood on V’s shoulders to get his compliance with her plans. It will mean having to give up Jane. V’s glimpse at happiness is being stolen away. He has no choice but to erase Jane’s memories of him and the Brotherhood, and release her back into her own world. Jane’s mind is far more intelligent that the average human. The erasing is unable to remove her memories completely. She dreams of a man whom she loved deeply. Feelings of loss swamp her soul. Her need for the dream- man is too real to ignore, too painful to let go of.

    What Worked or Didn’t Work for Me:

    The overall story of V and Jane works beautifully, however flashbacks from V’s past interrupt it a bit too often for me. What is revealed in those flashbacks is important, but it goes much farther than necessary. Dark tortures are both committed upon V, and by him. The sweetness of his connection to Butch is spoiled by these actions from his past. Also, the development of V’s relationship with Jane ended up meaning the ruin of his affectionate nature with Butch. In the beginning of the story, V hugs Butch while healing him from the sickness caused by lesser consumption. By the end of the book, while the two brothers are still very close, the physical connection is totally gone. It left me feeling bereft. I would have liked to see their women happy about the close bond between their men. While it was necessary for V’s sexual attraction towards Butch to fade, the tender way the brothers comforted one another would have remained a welcome tie.

    The love scenes are half steaming hot, half icily cold. The first love scene between V and Jane is ULTRA hot. Seeped in domination, the passion is equally thrilling for both. Later, when V pushes for “something extra” from Jane, her discomfort makes it very difficult for the reader to enjoy. Although she eventually gets into it, the coldness of the acts were a total turn- off for me. Whether the male or female is in control, there has to be a degree of personal connection.

    At the end of the book, the couple does end up together (of course), but it is in a way that is not “real” enough for me. It goes without saying, you have to approach paranormal tales with a certain expectation of anti-realism. But this ending went beyond my ability to picture a physical bond between V and Jane. A final disappointment came from the loss of yet another physical connection…They both loved the way he would bite into her throat and taste her blood during sex. (Yum! Hot, hot, hot!) But that would also no longer be possible, because she doesn’t have blood. Ward makes sure to mention that they can still feel each other and sex is just as pleasing to them both, but I couldn’t believe it under the final circumstances. So in the end, V no longer has a solid physical bond with either Butch or Jane. Considering that the need for affectionate touching was V’s greatest yearning, this ending was very empty.

  6. J. Scheppler
    October 29th, 2010 at 21:27 | #6


    A lot of readers have been waiting a long time for Vishous’s story, wondering what kind of female would suit the brilliant, ruthless, cursed, fascinating brother. And wow, I actually loved Jane, and I loved the fact that V loved her intelligence. I was with Ward every step of the way as she developed Jane and V’s relationship. I bought it. I loved their conversations. I was even with Ward when the lesser in Jane’s ‘hood came out of nowhere and ripped Jane from V’s life. Hey, things looked bad for Mary and Rhage, but Ward fixed that one. No, where Ward lost me completely is in the way she gave Jane back to V. I normally have no problem with willing suspension of disbelief, but please…would you want your surgeon’s brain power split between your operation and the need to concentrate just to, uh…keep herself together? Literally? I don’t buy it, never will. I suppose it’s nice that V’s curse finally has some use, but unless Ward has Jane’s form solidify more over time, I can’t buy her continuing to function as a surgeon.

    The good stuff? Everything between Jane and V up until she turns up transparent. Great scenes between John Matthew and Zsadist. Great scenes between Butch and V, though not enough of them.

    Am I looking forward to Lover Enshrined. Well, not as much as I was before reading Lover Unbound. I’m still a fan of the series, but Ward has given herself quite a task with Cormia, who doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence.

  7. K. Wolcott
    October 31st, 2010 at 01:21 | #7


    I agree with almost all of the criticism others have posted. Jane, a highly educated doctor from a fine family, who describes her father as a Victorian, and says she’s going to interview at Columbia University Hospital — starts talking like a street thug by the end of the book. World class surgeons do not say things like “jack me into a white dress”. I also don’t get the whole childhood introduction of Jane at the beginning of the book, with the dying sister and the Ouija board. Is it always necessary to eliminate a human heroine’s family right off the bat? By the time Beth, Mary and Jane met their Brothers, their human parents were all dead (no siblings left alive either!). The Scribe Virgin isn’t believable in this book. Is she a holy deity or a petty dictator? Has she become like one of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s selfish Greco-Roman Gods? She has the ability to implant a dinosaur in Rhage’s body, but she can’t do better than bring Jane back as a ghost? When I finished this the first time, I told myself to wait a few days and read it again, slowly. I did — and I still feel the same. I wasn’t buying Jane as the ghost either. If she can’t keep her clothing and body solid, how are we supposed to believe she’d going to be performing major surgery in future books? JR, good effort and there’s good stuff in there, but its the weakest of your books so far.

  8. R. Walters
    November 2nd, 2010 at 05:59 | #8


    What can I say? I’ve waited six months and still was going to put it off reading it, because I had a certification exam to go through for my job (study-study-study). But who are we kidding this is the Black Dagger Brotherhood that book called out to me all the way home. I read it in six hrs.

    It was well-written as always, the story’s ending was one of the biggest letdowns i’ve ever read. V has been through so much why on earth would you give him a see-through mate. I just hope this is not a trend in her writing, first and foremost i’m a romantic at heart that’s why I read such novels. I love a happy ending not an ending that leaves me wondering what did I just read!

  9. Chanelle
    November 2nd, 2010 at 07:28 | #9


    Wow, I can’t believe I am writing a bad review for a JR Ward book. I have been such a huge fan of this series from the beginning, and have faithfully pre-ordered every book, but V’s book feels like it was written by someone else completely. It was so disjointed and didn’t flow at all. You could really tell that JR had a tough time with this book, and it feels as if she really didn’t like V all that much.

    All through the series so far, V has been very uncomfortable with his feelings, especially where love is concerned, yet he falls for Jane almost instantly. I don’t mean the whole “mine” moment, because I know that happens right away with every brother, but he accepted and embraced being “in love” without any inner conflict what-so-ever. And the woman he falls in love with just doesn’t measure up. Jane is very underdeveloped IMO, and her actions don’t coincide with her profession or her upbringing. She is supposed to be this stoic no nonsense surgeon who grew up in a rich unfeeling home, yet she speaks like some street rat and falls in love just as quikly as V does…wtf???

    I don’t even understand why they fell in love in the first place. Jane thinks V is hot, and V likes Jane’s brain? And why is Jane so okay with being kidnapped by a bunch of vampires. If I was kidnapped by vampires, I would be freaking out, not exchaning quips with my captor, no matter how hot he was. And the hand job thing…what the hell was that about? V has just kidnapped her, he is her patient, he is a vampire ( which I feel that any sane person might need a little time to adjust to), she is supposed to be very professional, yet she gives him a HJ ( on the first or second day…can’t remember) without even knowing his whole first name?? the whole relationship was not believable at all.

    I kept having to put this book down. It took me almost four days to read it, and pretty soon I was just skimming. The ending was really lame, but by that time I just didn’t care anymore. I’m not invested in their relationship, so don’t feel disappointed about the casper issue.

    I did enjoy the parts with Phury, and I am probably in the minority as far as Cormia goes. I actually liked her, which is funny because I couldn’t stand Marissa. I also really loved the parts with Z and JM, and was happy that JM went through his transition. It really sucks that the good parts of the book were the ones that had nothing to do with the main characters.

  10. K. Montgomery
    November 3rd, 2010 at 11:38 | #10


    Lover Unbound garnered an instant impression from me on ending it. It was a hard journey, probably the hardest book to read of the series for me. I thought Ward had wrung out of me all the rough emotions I could possibly feel with Zsadist’s book (Lover Awakened), but oh, how wrong I was. My first impression? Well, it was a mixed bag actually: disappointment, utter joy, a bit of a depression in regards to some characters, smiles for certain scenes, heartfelt sighs for others…and a definite piqued interest for continuing with the series. A mixed bag to say the least–more like a salad in which some ingredients were found exceptionally tasty and snatched up, others a bit wilted and set aside for pondering.

    Vichous, resident IT geek and live wire (think the hand). He’s had it tough the last several months. He’s got some conflicting emotions to work through regarding his roommate, Butch, feelings he hates himself for. Meanwhile, the war with the Lessers isn’t going away, but turning a corner instead into newer, possibly deadlier territory. Like all of the brothers, his life hasn’t come without a price, and memories of his father’s warrior camp impede his ability to heal on the inside. His way of dealing is to indulge some darker sexual preferences, but is it helping? When a Lesser roundup goes bad, V finds himself hospitalized, but in a human one where the brotherhood is in danger of exposure. There he meets Dr. Jane Whitcomb, a self-assured surgeon…his savior. If not for her, he’d most likely have died, so why not kidnap the brilliant doc to make sure the healing continues? There’s something about her that sparks the “mine” instinct and V’s not having it any other way. Only problem is there’s this tiny little job he’s got to handle for the SV and it may mean an end to what V wants and a beginning to what’s best for the vampire race as a whole. Can V step down from what he wants? Is it really in a warrior’s nature? Jane may have been more than he bargained for too, more than he can sacrifice this time. And for a brother that’s made incredible sacrifices in the past, it just might be time to take a stand.

    First off, I agree with some of the professional reviews–this is not the book to enter the series on. If anyone starts off with it, they’re doing themselves and the books a disservice. This series is worth reading in order from book one. Vishous has had quite the interesting development in the last four books (in order: Dark Lover, Lover Eternal, Lover Awakened and Lover Revealed). It’s probably safe to say that many readers developed some expectations–who wouldn’t with these vamps? They’re exceptionally developed, larger than life (in our minds) and full of some very engaging emotions. I realized though, that in doing so I was putting myself and the characters in a corner. Realizing this didn’t make me appreciate the ending any more, which is different. Hard hitting, heavy and raw. This book WAS raw, gritty and in-your-face. It’s the BDB though, that’s what we’ve been getting. The author has stayed true to the roots of the series in that regard. Did I wish it could have been different for the main characters by book’s end? Big yes. Jane felt too rushed, but the circumstances in which she entered the series were rushed too, so it could be explained that way. Regardless, I wished for more from/for her, and I suppose that is why the ending disappointed me. To me, the ending left a lot of questions; ones I hope will be answered in later books. She seems to still have an important role by the ending, so that gives me hope. The romance was a bit understated compared to previous books–there’s a lot of detail about John Matthew and his friends included, a great set-up for Phury’s book (next in the series titled Lover Enshrined, June 2008). Secondary characters do play a bigger role in this one and those parts were stellar. Even Zsadist continues to develop beautifully–Ward’s not done with the individual characterizations! This book explored some deep emotions and a new take on the way romance can be written. While the ending left me feeling unsatisfied, I’m still convinced this is one bold, gutsy and talented author, which only lead me to wanting one thing in the end–Phury’s book. We meet his possible mate and what we find out about her and the culture she arrives from is not to be missed. Lover Unbound is going to sure-fire please fans, or put them in reserve and on guard. Oddly enough, it did both for me. Sounds like a success to me.

  11. Nally RBL Ladypugs
    November 5th, 2010 at 11:04 | #11


    I was glad to read that i wasn’t the only one who felt a little cheated and shortchanged in this book. I was waiting with so much anticipation for this book and then felt extremely deflated. For a book to contain 500 pages, it better be damn good. Don’t get me wrong, this book has its moments and revelations that leave you speechless if you have been a fan of the series. But it wasn’t fair to Vishous. He deserved better and more. The romance in the this book was stale, and didn’t have the emotional commitment the first books in the series had. There were too any secondary characters in this book that took up too mch time away from what could have been a beautiful story of love between our hero and heroine. This felt more like she threw V and Jane in there to pad it up. None of Janes past experiences had anything to help tie in with her current situation and relationship. The romance between them seem rushed and unbelieveable. And dont let me get started on Jane’s use of slang throughout the book. Yes the revelations were exciting for all the other books, but we were cheated, one in the lack of romance and any actual bonding that could have been construed as beleivable between V and Jane and IMHO the unconventional ending was just not beleiveable enough because she didn’t give us a reason to beleive it. Overall, not the best in the series. Lover Awakened will probably be the closet she will get to have shown us what to expect as the best of this series.

  12. Prue
    November 5th, 2010 at 12:55 | #12


    I love JR Ward. Her books up until this one have been flawless. This book was a big step down. There were spelling and grammar issues. The characters that we have come to know and love seemed to all be on some personality altering substances. The romance was so undercooked it was almost non existent. When a connection could have been developed during intimate scenes the author skipped to other story lines mid scene.

    I loved some of the smaller scenes from older characters and this is the only thing stopping me from sacrificially burning this book. The secondary story was almost made to be more important than the H/H. There was some lovely scenes with some of the newer characters. I think we all have characters that we would like to see more of among that group, hinting at Qhuinn here ladies. I am pretty mad at the ending too.

    I could go on, but I won’t. Mostly I think this book isn’t really worth paying the money I did for it.

  13. nightsmusic
    November 5th, 2010 at 13:12 | #13


    I had so looked forward to this story. Love V in the previous four and frankly, can’t choose one of those as a favorite, they were equally awesome to me for different reasons.

    I won’t write paragraphs here. Suffice it to say, I started reading and found myself skimming through most of it. (I had decided not to read it after the threads here discussing it, but the lure was too strong.) I’m sorry I started.

    The V I knew and loved and couldn’t wait to really get to know on an intimate level is nowhere to be found, his shellan is a total contradiction, coming from a wealthy family, well educated and still speaks as if she’d crawled from the gutter, V’s reaction to her was not one of wary wonder that he could feel anything, let alone feel it so quickly for her, he just did (totally out of character for him considering his background) and it is so full of major plot holes, which breed smaller plot holes until it’s like rabbits, hopping all over the place…contradictions, inconsistencies, incongruous relationships…the ending sucked, the best parts were the scenes between Z and JM.

    Someone else said it and I will repeat it here…if she’d wanted to do a Brotherhood recap, that’s what she should have called it. Ward didn’t really care for Rhage and yet, did him great justice with his story. Seems she must really hate V to give him nothing at all…

    I doubt I’ll be buying anymore in this series. I want to remember the brothers through the first four books. They might not be perfect, but they’re consistent. Not anymore…

  14. Daenarys Stormborn
    November 5th, 2010 at 23:50 | #14


    As something of a closeted fan, yet an ardent one nonetheless, I anticipated this installment of the BDB enormously. By comparison of the previous four however, what a disallusioning, and eerily hollow follow-up. From the outset of LU, the pace, direction, texture and teeth of the book seemed flat, forced – like Ward was writing it under/off the influence of what had previously inspired her other books. Her imaginative creativity was conspicuously in evidence – especially within the realm of medicine and all its entailing jargon – though off-putting and more than a few times downright creepy (S&M, bondage aside).

    Ward herself is unquestionably adept as a writer and gifted at drawing readers into her world of words. But this book in no way reflected that. I can only surmise that in trying to balance multiple plots and the inevitable conclusion of the series, depth and main character magic evaporated under such weight.

    This novel was an incongruous mis-step in what might otherwise have been a `worthy` series. Will not pine for the next.

  15. Haylo
    November 6th, 2010 at 06:20 | #15


    I found this book to be a huge disappointment. Ward did so much to build V up as this compelling force of a personality and then did everything possible in what was supposed to be his moment to take the spotlight off of him. I find myself wondering if she was under some amount of pressure while writing this story. It was hugely disjointed when taken in accordance with the other books. I have felt with each of the other stories that it was completely necessary to read the other books to have a good idea what was going on. It seemed to me as if this book was made to stand alone some.

    Now on to V’s “HEA”, all I can say is wow what a totally lame way to achieve that. I didn’t feel any satisfaction upon completion of this story. I was just confused and bitter. I also have serious doubts as to what direction this series is headed in. I don’t like Phury’s mate so far, I don’t like what seems to be JM’s mate, I just wonder if the world is escaping Ward now that she’s working on another series.

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